Featured Staff Member: Mrs. Helsel

Mrs. Helsel is the 7th grade art and 8th grade enrichment art teacher here at McDowell.  Today, I will be asking her questions to get to know her better.

Q: When did you decide to become a teacher?

A: In high school.


Q: Do your students ever inspire you?

A: Yes


Q: What is your favorite time of the year?

A: Fall or Spring. Fall because of all the new things that are happening, and Spring because of the weather.


Q: Have you taught any other grades than 7th and 8th?

A: Yes, kindergarten through 6th grade.


Q: What is the number one thing on your bucket list?

A: To see the Northern Lights or to see Michelangelo’s Pieta.

Now you know a little more about Mrs. Helsel.


These Nine Rows

I see the white hot glare of sunshine through my eyelashes,

peering through the thick branches of the tree

looming over the neat dark green grass and me.


I hear the gleeful whistling

of the miniscule birds

soaring over the calming hum of the musky white golf cart.


I smell the springs scents

of the happily bright dandelions and mud,

plastered by our footprints

on the dull shining rows of the metal bleachers.


I taste the damp air

on this mild Spring morning

that reminds me of how it felt

when my lungs burned

with the salty tang of the ocean water.


I touch the cold, silver bleachers

chilling my legs through my black leggings,

giving me a surprisingly refreshing joyful feeling.


I feel my soft purple jacket,

restraining my arms from the cool breeze

that hits my pale face and enters my ears,

singing them a sharp, cunning lullaby that only makes me more awake.


I wonder if these nine rows of bleachers

will ever be demolished,

just another pile of dust on the flat slab of Earth.  



Just like a business with no customers, pointless.


I wish I could feel the soft grass beneath my legs

instead of the odd metal

of the cold bleachers taking the feeling out of me.


I hope the grass always stays this green

and the bleachers always stay this cold

because this Spring air is too good to last more than a day.


I know that someday the deep green grass will fade,

the smell of Spring will vanish

and these bleachers will get warm,

but the feeling will always stick.


Compatibility Results

The results are in!  Pay only one dollar during your lunch period to find out who you are most (and least) compatible with.  Pay two dollars to see who you are most compatible with in the opposite grade.

On the paper you receive it tells you the five people (of the opposite gender) you are most compatible with.  It also tells you who you are the three least compatible with.  It also tells you your three best friend matches.  And finally, it gives you three random matches.

So what are you waiting for? Who are you most compatible with? Go find out during your lunch period for only one to two dollars.


Family Bonding

When I was younger, I always used to race through the halls of my decrepit house.  My footsteps would echo through the space of the ancient pathway, thump, thump, thump.  Footsteps would turn into flying.  Right now, pretending to be a superhero soaring through a run-down ‘city’ seemed silly.  But I wasn’t doing that, I was running for my life.  I could hear my own heartbeat in my ear, pulsing and pulsing.  Halloween was my least favorite time of the year, and this is exactly why!  Tap, tap, tap, tap my mom was growing slower, so I dared to take a quick glance back.  Regret flooded every bone inside of me.  Seeing her like this brought an aggressive sadness through my head like a tsunami.  Suddenly, I fainted on the cold wood floor.

Every year on Halloween night, my entire family goes berserk.  It’s a mystery to why it happens and why I’m the only one who doesn’t go completely crazy.  By crazy, I mean crazy.  Once I found my dad in the dining room with his eyes rolled back in his head while he lay on the floor, motionless.  Another time, my brother and sister were in the living room watching static on the television.  However, the worst comes from my mom.  You can count on that she will run through the house screaming every Halloween night.  She might even break a few plates.  Tonight was the worst though, she was constantly chasing me!  Every once in awhile she would gurgle out my name in a pathetic tone.  I was starting to wake up from my black out.

Tiny beams of light filled my eyes.  Sleeping was a beautiful thing, so I tried to just curl back up and rest some more.  Realization was the only thing I could think about.  Not the good kind, you know when a character in a movie realizes the love of their life had always loved them back, the kind where your world gets dark and you have to face reality.  Which in this case for me was to open my eyes.  So I did, as hard as it was, I had to face my insane family.  Staring me right in the face was my mom, dad, brother and sister.  They just stood there, not blinking, moving, breathing, they were just statues in that moment.  Moments like that go by quickly I can tell you.  Calmly, my sister went over to me and crouched down.  Automatically, my feet scooted me backwards.  In that moment, time went by like the slowest thing you can imagine.  It was almost like I floated right through the rail.  Back first, I fell down my old staircase.  Pitifully, my arms flailed in attempt to catch myself.  Soaring through the air like the superhero I used to be, I tumbled backwards and landed with an awful crunch.  One thing I was for sure about in all of the commotion, my sister said one thing to me. “You’re special, sis.”  After she groaned that, I was sure about why I was sane on Halloween night.

November 1st, the day everything was clear.  Beep… Beep… Beep…  Soreness was all I could feel in my back.  A nurse in pale blue scrubs came into my room “Are you feeling any better, Sara?” she smiled. “Yes, thanks,” I sighed.  Unthinkably, my mother then trudged into the room “Sara, I am so sorry, please, I can explain-” I glared at her “Why did you do this? Why am I different?” I cried. Awkwardly, the nurse scurried away.  I continued speaking, slowly raising my voice, “I want to be like you!  Why can’t I be alive too?”  Well, that was it.  Reason #1 why I didn’t turn into a monster like the rest of my family: I already was one.


The Mandela Effect

Have you ever said a quote from a movie, T.V. show or book then came to figure out you were wrong? If your answer was “no,” I am going to change that! In Snow White the famous quote “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” is actually “Magic Mirror, on the wall…” Weird, right? This strange phenomenon is called The Mandela Effect, and doesn’t just appear in quotes.

So what even is The Mandela Effect? The best way of explaining it is alternative memories, something you thought strongly of that happened or was true, but didn’t happen or wasn’t true. Another example of The Mandela Effect is, recently a man went in his garage and found an old copy of The Berenstain Bear books. After looking at them he noticed something strange, he remembered it being spelled as BerenstEin, not BerenstAin. He posted his experience online and found out tons of other people shared his opinion.

You might be wondering, how does The Mandela Effect happen? There is theory that it is proof of an alternative universe. But a more believable theory, in my opinion, is that, in the future there will most likely be advanced enough technology to have time travelers, right? So, if time travelers messed with one little flower, it would create a ripple through time and change some things. In some scenarios of The Mandela Effect, some people recall there being 51 or 52 states. Some people even remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison, hence the name.

Do you think The Mandela Effect is true, or just a coincidence? I personally think the Mandela Effect is real because a lot of people have had experiences with it, and I agree with a lot of scenarios. Have you ever experienced this? This theory might be a little far fetched, but is believable in my opinion.  Who will you share The Mandela Effect with?